The Leadership Podcast

The Leadership Podcast


We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.

James Schrager studies the use of strategy by executives and venture investors. Drawn to this research by a fascination with extreme success, and a desire to better understand how it happens. James discusses how to evaluate new ventures and growth opportunities. James doesn’t just teach the power of strategy, he also cultivates his executives to look within themselves and conduct a frequent analysis. James shares some of his insights on what expert strategists think about and how to prepare leaders for the future.

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Key Takeaways

[4:00] James shares how he’s adapting his teaching style now that he is teaching remotely.

[9:30] Experts look at the same puzzle completely differently than novices. It’s important to include all types of expertise levels in the learning process.

[10:55] James makes the connection between the importance of expertise and how this can be applied in leadership.

[16:15] Expert chess players ask important questions to make sure their core pieces are safe. A business leader needs to do the same. Instead of always playing on offense or defense, look at the bigger picture.

[19:15] When solving a puzzle for the first time, James’s students have a hard time “getting it,” but once they understand the process, they can’t believe the solution wasn’t obvious to them from the very start. Everyone has to start somewhere.

[21:10] Conducting frequent analysis on what went wrong and what went right is critical to improving and getting better than where you were before.

[22:50] It can be hard to look at your mistakes, but it can also be empowering because it means you don’t have to do it again.

[30:35] James shares ways an organization can better develop its unconsciously competent workforce.

[36:00] You get through your emotional bias by having other members of your team vet the idea or person.

[40:00] Strategists plan and live in the future. They think about the possibilities and disrupt the old way of doing things.

[44:45] We have so much data to process in today’s world; James discusses how you best sort this extra information to get to the real facts.

[47:50] Great leaders all have one thing in common: Profound curiosity.

[48:30] Listener challenge: Look at logic puzzles and use them to discover deeper questions within you.

Quotable Quotes

– “In business, we always want to think if we’re on offense or defense, and the great problem is we’re neither.”
– “There’s a secret the (chess) masters have and that secret is insight.”
– “Take a very close look at everything.”
– “Strategists live in the future.”
– “The future is a very scary place to be.”

Resources Mentioned

– Sponsored by: Coupon Code: Duty.
– Websites: James Schrager & Wikipedia

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